Looking at a large prism, what do you see?
Perhaps a slightly enlarged version of the world around you.
Hold the prism to a source of light, carefully turn it and examine the angled glass. A rainbow emerges from the other side, shining brilliantly on the walls around you, splitting white into many colors... turning a simple prism into a brilliant light show.
What's the point?
Rainbows are one of the few things in life that are inherently and undeniably beautiful.
The rest can be argued...
However, at Uptrade Media, we view the most successful enterprises across the world as brilliant works of art. Paragons of business shine through the annals of history, shaping the landscape of our world through industry-defining moments. These ebbs and flows are inherently beautiful, as each legacy or empire has a story to tell and knowledge to impart.
To this day, in the face of Democracy, competitive political parties are funded almost exclusively by enterprising individuals and corporations with business agendas. Politicians are funded by Super PACs. Very little is decided without consideration for financial impact. Over the course of history, massive business empires have formed and dissolved, and those who remain are continuously forced to adapt and improve every facet of the business.
In the same way that many would dismiss a simple prism as a thoughtless item, many businesses fail to look critically at their own processes. Over time, management and corporate culture become routine in approach, and looking at the enterprise can seem like looking through a clear prism- they see the same thing. They fail to adapt to the ever-changing world of modern economy, and they die off along the way. Finding innovative methods for growth and profitability requires much closer inspection using specialized tools, historical data, and industry insight.
In this way, we view Business Analysis as more of an Engineering process, and apply it as such:
Step 1: Understand
First and foremost, the engineer must seek to fully understand their client, from target demographics to corporate culture. They take the time to discuss ambitions and goals with senior management, and define realistic expectations and outcomes for the undertaking. Without taking the appropriate time to incorporate existing information, solutions run the risk of failed implementation.
Step 3: Design
The enterprise is understood, and the numbers prove the need for a solution. Now, the engineer must draft a total solution that reduces or eliminates entirely the problems observed, oftentimes incorporating new or upgraded technologies into the infrastructure of the organization. Rather than targeting one deficient department at a time, the goal of the design is to set a stronger foundation for business development and growth moving forward.
Step 5: Implement
The engineer begins the overhaul, beginning with extensive training on proper execution of new processes. Sometimes, this is accompanied by the hiring or replacement of an executive, and usually includes some amount of management turnover. Teams are independently coached and guided to achieve the new protocols, allowing time for culture change and growth of knowledge.
Step 2: Analyze
Once the enterprise is understood, the company is segmented into manageable sections of revenue and expense, based on department and need. A business engineer is able to compare the factual evidence against the initial narrative, finding pieces that work inefficiently, or don't work at all. These scientific revelations set the standard for terming the operation as a success or failure when looking at resulting data during Review.
Step 4: Engage
Corporate management and the engineer review the designed solution, finding a compromise between the proposed ideal modifications and realistic capacity for change. Employees are potentially reviewed, allowing an unbiased third party to cross-examine deficient teams and define personnel needs. Once initial testing and feedback are completed, the enterprise proceeds with the approved design.
Step 6: Review
Results are reviewed on a regular interval to ensure the success of design implementation and positive evidence of problem resolution. The engineer closely monitors data output over time, ensuring the designated changes are effective. Should unexpected results or issues occur, the engineer returns to the Understand phase, in order to find a resolution to the new set of problems.
"Engineering is the application of knowledge in the form of science, mathematics, and empirical evidence, to the innovation, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of structures, machines, materials, devices, systems, processes, and organizations."
In today's day and age, we pioneers cannot afford to ignore the intricacies of our own businesses.
We cannot afford to miss opportunities or remain stagnant.
It is imperative to apply these fundamental principles of engineering to grow, to become greater enterprises with taller ceilings and wealthier portfolios. We must shine a targeted light at ourselves, look into the corners, tear apart the pieces of what makes us good and build something even better.
Good isn't good enough.
To become truly great, the first step is to critically analyze the fundamentals of your own business. Eliminate weak links in the corporate infrastructure, trim fat off the expense reports. Invest the savings in profitable areas of the enterprise, and use data analytics to determine the most effective courses of action.
Tear apart the competition. What makes them good? Are they great at anything? Why?
Find these answers, then create a workable plan to achieve maximum revenue and efficiency.